Muscat: A field study of the Arabian Sea Humpback Whale Tracking Project via satellite in Al Wusta Governorate was able to monitor 11 sightings of a humpback whale, 4 sightings of a Bryde’s whale, and one sighting of an Indian Ocean humpback dolphin.
The study, which was carried out by a team from the Environment Authority, aims to assess the risks of bycatch and mitigate ship accidents, while learning more about whale migration paths and habitats and drawing accurate data and a map for them.
The study was carried out by the team specifically in Masirah Bay via satellite during the mating season of the current year, in cooperation with a group of internationally accredited experts to install tracking chips, and the Ocean Alliance to install tracking devices with visible sensors.
Experts from Environment Authority and experts from Future Seas Company, which is carrying out the field work and data analysis. Previous studies in the same field have shown that this type of whale is in fact a resident whale that stays in its habitat near the Omani coast, in complete contrast to other types of whales that spend their lives wandering between the seas, due to the seasonal climatic conditions that occur in the southern seas of the Sultanate of Oman, where they are available diverse food sources throughout the year.
The team worked on the project to install a tracking chip on one of the Arabian Sea humpback whales, which is one of the whales that was seen for the first time last year in November in the same area, and it helped understand the behavior and movement of the whale for a period between one month and 6 months, while knowing its location with an accuracy of up to hundreds. meters up to 5 times per day.
The team also worked on installing 4 devices with additional sensors that last 8 hours, which help record the whale’s diving characteristics by watching the whale’s movement and hearing the singing sounds it makes. The Arabian Sea humpback whale is considered the most unique and rare, as only about 100 whales have been seen.
The research team at the Arabian Sea Humpback Whale Tracking Project uses many available research tools to understand the behavior and movement of animals that are threatened or most in need of conservation and management, most notably: satellite telemetry, mapping the distribution of threats and risks, audio monitoring, and the use of a drone. Pilot for monitoring, sampling, and other measurements.
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